Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 16 - Paparazzi Cruisers

The day dawned brisk and I couldn't stand it anymore. Five days now and my goldie-long-locks needed a bath. The process started in the galley sink with a soak-and-soap, then up on deck to hang my head over the side for a cold, salt water bucket rinse... or 2 or 3. Back to the galley sink for a conditioning rinse and again on deck for an air-dry fluff in the wind. I'm good to go! (Just in case you were wondering, I use Aubrey Organic hair care - it is 100% biodegradable, made from all food grade ingredients.)

Isla La Partida (north island)
Fluffed and dried, it was time to weigh anchor for a morning sail. It's official; today marks the beginning of my return home to 'civilization'. Winds from the north, 10-15 knots on a downhill run, and an easy south easterly swell guided the Compass Rose to our destination - Isla la Partida. This island is connected to Isla EspĂ­ritu Santo by a narrow isthmus. These two islands, in the Gulf of California, are protected by UNESCO as biospheres. 

SV Tortuga passing by
A speck in the distance, SV Tortuga, gained on us over the hours, then passed on the starboard side in full sail. I grabbed my camera for a rare shot as they also took pictures of us on a beam reach toward Ensenada La Partida. Close enough to holler, it turns out Tortuga was headed to the same anchorage so we agreed to meet up later.

We settled the Compass Rose in 20 feet of water, as close as possible to the turquoise shallows that extend far from the beach into the cove. Like Swiss cheese, vertical orange cliffs riddled with holes encircle the sugar sand beach. Wild fig trees, stunted from the elements, cling to nearly nothing alongside the numerous cliff-side caves, and the echoing, cascading call of a canyon wren gives this deserted beach an almost eerie feel.

On the way to shore Captain Mike opted to take a snooze in the dingy, floating in the shallows, while I walked the remaining 50 yards through knee-deep water to explore the length of shoreline; again the only person in a quiet landscape. My feet sank into the soft, warm, white powder and, dotted along the beach, strangely shaped rocks and driftwood made their own kind of art. Adding to the eerie feeling, and somehow the beauty of life on these arid islands, was harsh evidence of life no longer.
At the south end of the beach I discovered a trail-head entrance through the one, and only, canyon leading up to several rugged camping locations tucked away from view. Perhaps tomorrow I will explore...

Returning to the dingy after my solitary expedition, we headed for the Tortuga to meet up with the boating Paparazzi. I learned over a glass of wine that Rick and Marilyn have lived on board for 30 years, raising two daughters. I was enchanted with their tales and adventures of living on board. Rick, turns out, is an accomplished guitarist and harmonica player and happily shared samples of his musical talent. Marilyn over the years has also developed musical accolades as a washboard percussionist, not to mention a skill for creative food recipes like a Trigger fish concoction that is said to rival Jimmy Dean sausages. I so enjoyed their stories and company!

Night fell while visiting and it was time to say goodbye, for now. I promised to look them up in La Paz during Carnival, which they wholeheartedly recommended as a must-see. Flashlight in hand, we scooted in the dink past a handful of other yachts from other ports of call - Canada, Oregon, Hawai'i, Washington, and an old seabird - a wooden square rigged boat from the past, Zulu.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your thoughts?